Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Strengthens UCLan Collaboration on 3D Games Design

University expands work in 3D gaming with global company

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has expanded its cutting-edge 3D technology teaching thanks to a growing relationship with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE).

Following on from a successful collaboration last year between SCEE and UCLan games development students, the partnership has grown to allow games design students to also use the latest 3D technology in their work.

Both first and second year BA(Hons) Games Design students were asked by SCEE to develop a 3D game idea, a technique used to create the illusion of depth in an image, for home or commercial use or for a cinematic experience.

They worked closely with the PlayStation® 3D technology experts to incorporate the latest gaming designs into their work with resounding success.

Some of the ideas the students pitched are at the cutting edge of 3D and included SimulView™ technology that is unique to SCEE . It means that gamers don’t have to play in split screen mode but instead can view two different full HD screen images from a single display.

“All of the games design work I have seen contained real gems of creativity and included elements that I would be happy to use in the gaming industry. The students’ ideas were varied and went way beyond traditional gaming conventions.”

Simon Benson, Senior Development Manager SCEE, commented: “Our specialised 3D teamwas impressed with the quality of the work produced by UCLan’s games development students last year and it’s fantastic that we can build on this and develop the collaboration further.

“All of the games design work I have seen contained real gems of creativity and included elements that I would be happy to use in the gaming industry. The students’ ideas were varied and went way beyond traditional gaming conventions; they certainly used the technology to its full potential.”

Second year students Jason Ashcroft-Swain and Robin Demar presented a cinematic experience gaming idea to the SCEE team called ‘The Range’ where Laser Quest meets traditional arcade games with various settings including the Wild West, a coliseum and a space station.

Jason said: “This is a new experience for us that made us approach games design from a different perspective. It’s been great to work so closely with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and have such positive feedback from world renowned experts.”

SCEE incorporated 3D technology into the entire project and even gave a presentation in 3D about the technology, which was the largest ever 3D lecture delivered by the company.

Attendees were educated on the history of 3D and SCEE’s role in developing 3D for the entertainment industry and were treated to exciting sneak previews of upcoming new technology.

Led by Simon Benson and colleague Ian Bickerstaff from Sony Computer Entertainments Stereoscopic 3D Team, the focus was not only on the team’s achievements but on the University’s and the students’ roles in the future development of 3D technology.

“This is a new experience for us that made us approach games design from a different perspective. It’s been great to work so closely with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and have such positive feedback from world renowned experts.”

The two industry professionals told students that the future of 3D was in their hands and that with the right skills, opportunities were limitless in the rapidly growing sector.

BA(Hons) Games Design Course Leader Bev Bush said: “We are really grateful for the huge amount of time that Simon Benson has given to the staff team and students on the Games Design course at UCLan. This fantastic industry connection is all due to Lisa Harding from UCLan who made it possible.

“It’s brilliant to be part of such a cutting edge technology and have such a good relationship with Sony’s 3D development team. One of our graduates is even staying on to further his study of 3D user interfaces as part of his Masters degree.

“The work with Sony has brought about new challenges and projects for the curriculum and it’s very beneficial for students to be working on the most exciting real life briefs. This collaboration builds student employability skills and helps the course to evolve in line with emerging industry demands.”

UCLan MA Games Design Course Leader Josh Taylor added: “Having the opportunity to work with the 3D Sony Development Team at a Masters level is incredible. It is testament to the success and quality of the BA students that we now have such a great relationship with Simon Benson and his team. I personally cannot wait to see the next results from this collaboration.”

www.uclan.ac.uk

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